Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation – Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
The first three out of eight targets include:
– “By 2030, achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all.”
– “By 2030, achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and end open defecation, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations.”
-“By 2030, improve water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimizing release of hazardous chemicals and materials, halving the proportion of untreated wastewater and substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse globally.”
WASH (Water, Sanitation & Hygiene) experts have stated that without progress on Goal 6, the other goals and targets cannot be achieved. Safe drinking water and hygienic toilets protect people from disease and enable societies to be productive. Attending school and work without disruption is a precursor to education and employment, both of which are the foundation of alleviating poverty. A study from 2016 showed how sanitation, when done with a resource recovery and reuse focus can contribute towards achieving at least fourteen of the SDGs, especially in an urban context. Recovering the resources embedded in excreta and wastewater like nutrients, water and energy contributes towards achieving Goal 12 (sustainable consumption and production) and Goal 2 (zero hunger) while ensuring adequate sanitation and wastewater management along the entire value chain in cities contributes to Goal 11 (sustainable cities and communities), Goal 1 (no poverty) and Goal 8 (decent work and economic growth).